Pain & Honesty

The following is a repost from July of last year. Our little family experienced quite a wild ride, much of it beyond all words, in 2011. Because of this, life forever changed. And, I am glad it did. I hope that you will enjoy this – as it is only the tip of the iceburg of where we’ve been. Going back, it is a gentle reminder of how strong and resilient we all are – mothers and all others. It is a matter of choice.

It was a Monday like every other. At least the ones that are not a national holiday, that is. After eight hours of school, studying, and an additional two spent constructing a project on neonatal immunology, it was time to play. As Ryker and I rolled the Mickey Mouse ball back and forth, I sighed. Thursday would be his first birthday. And he looked great! An animated and jubilant baby, there were no signs that we had ever wondered whether or not he would make it.

After months of his health troubles, I had taken him out of daycare. My health had also begun to suffer, with autoimmune difficulties resurfacing. So, I also chose to step down from my role running the front office of a veterinary practice, and to intertwine my passions of health, education, and motherhood. I returned to school for a second degree. Obviously, healthcare was my first choice. We had been actively involved in my son’s recovery; I needed to know more and to do more than I was able to as I stood on the sidelines.

So, as I basked in the glow of motherhood, sharing my time and my heart with my child, I assumed that this was how we would continue to live. I would have my intellectual stimulation, and my emotional connection to life and our beautiful little family. I would not miss out on anything. But, I did. Though fortunately only a short chunk of an eternity. Only hours later I was supine on a backboard, excruciating pain radiating through my lower back and into my thighs, I cried. I cried because the pain that I felt was unlike any other, and I cried knowing that I would spend my first night without my baby. And he would spend his first night without his mama.

It took them quite a bit of time to get the pain under control. And, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t breathe. At least not in the yogic sense of using breath control to manage the emotional and physical states. The fear of the unknown had set in. The weakness and numbness in my legs alternated with stabbing sensations. With no feeling in my left leg for over a day, I entered a brief time of mourning over a life forever changed. When my baby – my reason for living (beyond my phenomenal husband, the co-author of our family’s story) – finally came to visit, I wiped away my sadness and breathed into the idea of hope… the idea of faith, or more so the reality of hope and faith.

I can’t say that I am recovered, or even that we have answers. But I can say that I have much peace. God has given me that. When I’m at my weakest, He always does. Love unconditional. My path seems to have been altered in a way that may forever change how I live, but not my ability to live. Transient or permanent, the myriad of worries seem trivial. It’s not that I am not concerned about finding an answer and potential resolutions. It is that I am more concerned with enjoying the beauty that surrounds me.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go meditate for a while. I’ve learned so much this week. And I feel like I’ve aged a million years – in a good way. There is no soul-fire that can be sparked quite like the one that comes from facing adversity. Before, there was too much getting in the way. Now, there will be less; the hurriedness that has consumed me is an impossibility. I believe that to be a good thing.

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